Experiences

September 25, 2017
Gouranga Kuila’s pavilion art for a puja in Kolkata (Photo by Gouranga Kuila)

Bengal’s farmers are behind Kolkata’s stunning Durga Puja pandals

Designing and building the temporary pavilions that house the deity during West Bengal’s biggest annual festival remains the preserve of rural artisans — chiefly farmers and folk artists — despite an increasing presence of professionals from creative arts in this field

September 22, 2017
Dongria women at a seed festival. (Photo by Susanta Dalai)

Niyamgiri tribe revive wild harvests after Vedanta victory

Judicious use of wild uncultivated foods and revival of indigenous crops are helping the Dongria Kondh tribe of Niyamgiri to boost food security beyond their successful campaign against mining giant Vedanta

September 20, 2017
Gopalji Trivedi (right), former vice-chancellor of Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University at Pusa, convinced farmers in Mutlupur to use a barren wetland for agricultural purposes. (Photo by Mohd Imran Khan)

Mutlupur farmers transform neglected wetland into integrated farm

A group of farmers have converted a shunned wetland to practice fish farming, agroforestry and horticulture, providing employment and livelihood opportunities to impoverished villagers

September 18, 2017
The flooding led to a watery grave for the crops. (Photo by Rajiv Palit)

Poor flood planning is destroying livelihoods in south Bengal

Breach of riverbanks after torrential rains and water released from overflowing reservoirs flood southern portions of West Bengal, leading to loss of livelihoods and complete disruption of life

September 15, 2017
Protesting against the sexual assault and death of a woman, women of self-help groups brought the issue to the police when no one else dared to, and ensured the capture of perpetrators. (Photo by Coastal Salinity Prevention Cell)

Women in Gir stand up for dignity of widows

Women of self-help groups in the Gir region of Gujarat are going beyond microfinance and income-generation activities to fight against social taboos attached to widows and help them lead a better life

September 11, 2017
Fishing and other rural communities that have traditionally depended on Wular Lake are now struggling to earn a living from it, as shrinkage, siltation and ecological degradation take a toll on Kashmir’s largest flood basin . (Photo by Athar Parvaiz)

Diminished Wular Lake threatens livelihoods

Fishing and other rural communities that have traditionally depended on Wular Lake are now struggling to earn a living from it, as shrinkage, siltation and ecological degradation take a toll on Kashmir’s largest flood basin

September 8, 2017
Rahibai in her field of native hyacinth bean that she has conserved. (Photo by MITTRA)

Maharashtra seed mother pioneers conservation of native varieties

Linking failing health to hybrid seeds, Rahibai Soma Popere of Kombhalne village in Maharashtra conserves hundreds of native varieties and encourages other farmers to grow traditional crops

September 6, 2017
Riverbank erosion on the Beki River continually threatens habitations in Barpeta district of Assam. (Photo by Sayanangshu Modak)

Riverbank erosion no less a disaster than Assam floods

A widespread hazard like riverbank erosion, which continuously affects the poorest and the most vulnerable in the Brahmaputra River Basin in Assam, is not classified as a disaster and does not receive the swift emergency response as floods

September 4, 2017
People find it convenient to buy vegetables at the weekly farmers’ markets in Pune. (Photo by Ajit Kanitkar)

Do farmers’ markets in cities really benefit farmers?

The recent proliferation of weekly farmers’ markets in urban areas is quite useful for consumers but their benefits to farmers are limited at best and cannot replace the practice of selling at wholesale yards

September 1, 2017
The artificial glacier melts and flows towards Nang village in May, fulfilling the village’s water needs. (Photo by Samten Choephel)

Artificial glaciers help mitigating rural water crisis in Ladakh

Faced with severe water shortage due to reduced snowfall and receding glaciers, a Ladakh village has built an artificial glacier successfully through community efforts that now fulfills all its water needs